I didn’t believe in ghosts.
None of it. From ectoplasm to poltergeists, I was sure it was all made up and just some artifice designed to scare.
There was always a rational explanation for everything.
Then the inexplicable happened.
A few years ago, I visited my sister in her new house at the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. A hilly area dotted with lush forests and farmland. As with most English villages, it had quiet cobblestone streets, a Norman-style church, an ancient churchyard, and of course, a pub.
It was a beautiful modern interpretation of an old house, with dormers, red-bricks and double-glazing. It stood stout against the gales coming off the North Sea. The garden ran down to the edge of a set of fields, newly plowed and constantly awash with birds on the lookout for worms.
I was to sleep in the office and my brother-in-law was busy installing blinds at the two windows when I arrived. The only light in the room was in the ceiling and the switch was by the door.
I fell asleep almost immediately and would have stayed that way except for an odd sound that roused me.
I lay there for some time, eyes still closed trying to figure it out.
It was in front of me and then off to my left. It sounded exactly like someone taking their finger and running down the slats of a Venetian blind.
Fully awake now, fear and logic waged battle in my brain. Why would the blinds be making that sound? I listened for a moment, then pulled the covers up to my nose.
It had to be a breeze from an open window. I hadn’t checked them before going to bed, because the blinds were already closed. OR, perhaps there was a draft coming under the door.
There was only way to find out. Get out of bed and walking across the dark room, past the windows, past that noise, to the light switch.
No way I was getting out of bed.
I lay there for a long time, digging deeper into the dip in the mattress and cocooning myself in the bedding. The intervals between the noise grew longer and I finally dozed off.
Then another noise roused me. A scratching at the door, followed by a determined sniffing. It was light now, and I decided the tail-wagging friend behind the door would make a good ally.
Together, we checked the windows.
I closed the door and checked for a draught.
The smell of eggs and bacon wafted through the air, my sister was making full English – a wonderful smell that could levitate even the dead.
The dog sat beneath the table, his nose twitching every time my fork stabbed a piece of bacon. He knew soon or later a morsel would fall his way.
Fortified with breakfast. I started to tell my tale of the strange noise in the night.
My sister froze. She too had experienced odd things in that new house. She woke one night to find a woman dressed in eighteenth-century clothes standing in the doorway of the master bedroom. She was there and gone in an instant.
She chalked it up to a dream until it happened again.
When my sister mentioned it to someone in the village, they told her that her new house had been built on the footprint of an old cottage. When she investigated further, she discovered the master bedroom and the room where I slept, sat on the foundations of that cottage. The lady who owned it died when it burned down. No one build on that land for 160 years.
I can’t explain the noise I heard or the strange apparition in the master bedroom. My sister told me the cat wouldn’t go into either of those rooms … ever. The dog, however, had no such qualms. He roams all corners of the house, with bacon on his mind.
If you have any eerie and unsettling ghostly experiences I’d like to hear about them. Drop me an email.